Soccer Elite

One of my daughters is on a soccer team and they recently had their last game of the season. Usually, I don’t appreciate soccer mostly due to the professional playing tactic of faking injuries really gets my blood boiling that those kind of false flags aren’t punished and are tolerated. That leaves the realm of sportsmanship and enters politics in my opinion. However, at the root of the sport and where money and fame aren’t a main driver, where playing for the fun and competition are the focus, I begin to appreciate the actual game. So far and without much research I can say that young kids playing the game is actually fun to watch. At least when they get hurt, they shed a tear or two and actually hop off the field and sit the rest of the game out. It’s also nice to see that whether they win or lose the game ends with mostly smiles and the satisfaction that they had fun.

In this photo, one of the team mates on my daughter’s team is giving it all she’s got with an impressive roundhouse/axe kick. It’s one of my favorite soccer photos that I’ve taken. 100% commitment. _MG_9409

The Mantis

On my last full day in Cyprus I came across this deadly creature. ;-D

A Praying Mantis out on a stroll over some ice plant. If you’ve never played around with or seen a praying mantis growing up, they’re very harmless. They’re a great asset in a garden because they love eating insects that eat your vegetables. They seem to be highly intelligent for an insect because they can turn their heads and they look at you. This one in particular was moving back and forth as if the wind was moving it. When I approached she stopped and turned her head at me and her two little eyes moved toward me. It’s kind of a creepy feeling because they look so wicked.

I disturbed her just long enough to snap a couple of pictures of her and then I left. Always cool to see one of these, especially one as big as she was.

European Mantis/ Mantis Religiosa, Ayianapa, Cyprus

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Cyprus

A mini vacation to Cyprus did a body well.

Long winter months without sunlight either due to earths rotation on the axis or the sky covered in clouds, sometimes it’s necessary to escape to a place where sunshine is guaranteed.

We took a week trip to Cyprus and got that. Swimming in pools and the Mediterranean was good for the soul. It was quiet the shock to the body since I’m acclimated to arctic temperatures so I sweat like a maniac and by the end of the week, I was more than ready to come back to the cooler temps.

We stayed in the tourist city of Ayianapa where there is a water park, boat rides, parasailing, water bikes, souvenir shops, pubs, clubs and restaurants of various cuisines. I wouldn’t recommend taking young kids into the souvenir shops as there are questionable types of souvenirs more appropriate for older teens and adults but the overall vibe was enjoyable.

The night sky was somewhat clear given the light pollution of the city. Both Jupiter and Saturn were clearly visible along with a crescent moon.

This photograph was taken below our hotel where locals and tourists alike took turns jumping off into the water. I didn’t feel the need to test myself nor the desire to climb up and down those sharp cliffs (old age) but I did enjoy watching those people do it.

Ayianapa, Cyprus

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A rare flower

The Lady Slipper or “Guckusko” in Swedish, is a wild orchid that is common but not abundant. So when I find them, it’s always a special treat as it is with most people I know.  This is a protected plant so picking them or moving them isn’t an option.

 

(Cypripedium Calceolus)_MG_8794

Looking for a home

A lonely princess on her own to find and build a kingdom of her own.

This picture gives me the feeling of new beginnings and a wonder to the unknowns we all face in our lives. Who knows what ever happened to this little queen to be. Hopefully she was able to find a nice, quiet pine to begin her life and start her colony. This photo was taken was taken on a cloudy day in an open field covered in dandelions and spring flowers,  surrounded by a forest of spruce and pine. There weren’t many birds around during this time so I like to imagine she was successful. This is a Wood Ant (formica polyctena)._MG_8768

I’m Back!

Summer vacation is here and I’ve had some time to think about how I will continue this blog. Although my greatest interest is the sun and it’s effects to earth and just the imagination of how everything works together in nature, my second greatest interest is photography and the constant challenge of outdoing myself in getting the ultimate shot.

 

My family and I just returned back from a mini vacation to Cyprus. It was a nice place to get some sun and have some fun with the kids but my acclimation to the arctic is never a great combination to hundred degree (F) weather. I never sweat so much. I did get a couple of nice photos but I’ll catch myself up and those who read this with the photos I’ve been taking before our trip. This will catch you up as well as give me something else to do while I’m on vacation in-between housework, yard work, playing with the kids and doing things with them and fishing. If it gets warm enough, we might even get to swim but that depends on the water temperature.

 

Enjoy. _MG_8247

We were lucky this summer to have a family of woodpeckers that took resident in one of our trees. This is a Great Spotted Woodpecker (dendrocopos major). They are still here and have had a male chick who still has a lot of his chick down and is a sloppy flier. Both parent woodpeckers have been feeding him and he also feeds himself. I’ve attempted to photograph him closer but they are very protective of him and give him the signal to get away as I approach with my camera. Hopefully one of these days, he will let me get him on record.

Inspiration failure

This past winter has not given a whole lot of aurora where I am. I do have a few shots that I have yet to post but overall when we had aurora, I had clouds. Quite a bummer so I may be changing what I initially wanted to do with this blog and expand it to my general photography. I suppose I could use a change but I sure do love the sun and what it does to the earth outside of warming it.

This was a coronal mass ejection from a few days ago. Its a great image and luckily will miss earth.

I’ll be contimplating this new take to the blog. Until then, stand by.

CME erupts incoming sunspot

After a very long and quiet period, we haven’t seen much from the sun, especially for CME’s. The first legitimate sunspot of 2017 is just now beginning to rotate into earth’s direction. Just before it did so, though, it released a pretty decent CME which thankfully will be missing earth. Judging from the recent past, I won’t be expecting that this sunspot will do much while facing earth. However, as it begins to rotate out of view, if it lives that long, it may give us another display of what it can do.